Ask the Garrison Commander: Power Outages and child safety

| March 10, 2011 | 0 Comments

Col. Douglas Mulbury
Commander, U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii



The “Ask the Garrison Commander” program is designed as a communication tool to allow Soldiers, civilians and family members to get their concerns addressed and questions answered.

All submitted questions come directly to me. Directorates and support staff research queries and provide responses.

Several community members submitted questions to me via the live TV2 town hall, at the Ask the Garrison Commander e-mail address, and through the U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii web link at

These communication tools are provided to allow Soldiers, family members and civilians who live and work on the installation to get their concerns addressed and answered.

Q: Last year there was a power outage on Aliamanu Military Reservation due to bad transformers. Have we checked them this year to help prevent a recurrence of this problem?

A: Our Directorate of Public Works is doing everything possible to preclude this problem from happening again. Unfortunately, the high voltage system at AMR is old and in need of replacement.

While we have identified many issues and are working to replace rusted switchgears, to install new primary-overhead circuits and to correct other identified problems, funding for these and other major repairs continues to be an ongoing problem.

We are also partnering with our housing contractor to incorporate necessary repairs, install new equipment and resolve other issues that may be contributing to the frequency and length of these power outages.

Q: I see lots of children riding bikes, skateboards, scooters and mopeds without helmets or reflective gear when it is dark. This is a danger to everyone involved — because if you can’t see them, how can you stay away and avoid hitting them? 

I also see many parents failing to wear helmets while riding their bikes. What can be done to correct these problems before someone gets hurt, or even worse?

A: The unsafe riding of bicycles, skateboards, scooters and mopeds, and the failure of adults and children to obey applicable Army and installation policies with regard to their use, is an important and timely issue.

The safe riding of these and other sport and recreational vehicles on Army installations, and the regular use of appropriate safety equipment is an individual responsibility and requirement in AR-385-10, the Army Safety Program.

Bicycle riders should follow the established rules of the road: ride on the right side, remain alert to motorized vehicles and use lights and/or reflective equipment in low-light conditions. Approved protective headgear must also be worn while using powered and non-powered scooters, skateboards and roller blades. The use of hand, elbow and knee protection is also highly recommended.

Bicycle helmets, approved by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, will be worn by all personnel, including family members, when riding bicycles on Army installations. Helmets certified by the American Society for Testing and Materials may also be worn, but when purchasing a new helmet, riders should look for the CPSC certification.

Mini-bikes, pocket bikes and similar vehicles do not meet federal highway safety standards and, therefore, are not approved for use on installation roads. Mopeds must be registered with the City and County of Honolulu, and only trained and licensed operators wearing appropriate personal protective equipment can ride/drive mopeds on installations.

Similarly, gasoline-powered pocket bikes will not be operated on our installations. Electric (toy) pocket bikes, similar to four-wheel electric “Barbie Jeeps,” are designed for sidewalk use only and should not be driven on our roads. Operators are also required to wear protective helmets.

Operators who violate these requirements may be cited by the Military Police.

While some of these requirements may appear unnecessary or overly restrictive, they are designed to help ensure the safety of everyone involved. If you continue to observe violations of these well-established policies and procedures, please contact the MPs or your community’s housing office.

To submit an “Ask the Commander” question, send an e-mail to For more information, call Bill Lenharr (656-0611) at USAG-HI Command Group, or call Aiko Brum (656-3155) at USAG-HI Public Affairs.

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Category: News, Safety, Standing Columns

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